Afolabi Elebiju, a versatile commercial lawyer and multidisciplinary business consultant with cutting edge transaction structuring expertise, is the founding Principal of LeLaw Barristers & Solicitors.
Widely acknowledged as one of Nigeria’s leading tax and regulatory lawyers, Afolabi has over two decades of premium corporate/commercial law and business consulting experience, in leading Nigerian and multinational professional services firms: Olaniwun Ajayi LP (Associate, 1995 – 1997), Andersen/KPMG Professional Services (Snr. Consultant – Snr. Manager, 1998 – 2006) and Templars (Partner, 2007 – 2013). He worked for global market leaders, blue chip Nigerian corporates and HNIs, the public sector and international agencies on big ticket, cross-border deals. Afolabi has variously worked as team member, manager or leader of engagement teams for diverse clients in all sectors of the economy. Prior to LeLaw, he was General Counsel (2013 – 2014), and later, Consultant/Senior Advisor (2014- 2015, a part-time role) at African Capital Alliance (ACA), Nigeria’s foremost private equity firm focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly the Gulf of Guinea.
His experience also includes civil and commercial litigation at trial and appellate courts, investment disputes arbitration and tax litigation. He was the tax and regulatory team leader at Templars where he also supported the Corporate & Commercial, Finance, Energy & Projects and Dispute Resolution Groups. His 8 year experience at Andersen/KPMG’s Tax & Regulatory Services practice included offshore secondment to Dundas & Wilson (Scottish member firm of defunct Andersen Legal) working with their Infrastructure Group for diverse clients. In 2004, he was charged with leading KPMG’s Executive Selection and Training (EST) Group, during which he led several training and recruitment engagements for blue chip clients and championed a six-month transformation plan that culminated in the recruitment of substantive Group Head.
He obtained his two Second Class Upper Honours degrees from Obafemi Awolowo University (B.A. (Ed.) (1987); LLB (1994)), and was called to the Nigerian Bar in March 1995 after obtaining Second Class Upper Honours at the Bar Finals. He also attended University of Lagos (LLM Corporate/Commercial Law, 1997); and Harvard Law School (LLM International Finance, 2007). Prior to commencing his legal education and legal career, Afolabi was a Secondary School teacher in Bauchi and Ondo States between 1987 and 1990.
Afolabi’s book, Promoting Country Competitiveness Through Sectoral Reforms: Case Study of Nigerian Telecommunications Sector, 1999 – 2006, (MentorHouse 2014) is dedicated to “those who took a bet on Nigeria, and despite all, are staying true to their bets.” Free download of Chapter 1 of the book is available here. Some of Afolabi’s seminal articles include the widely referenced The Investment & Securities Act of 1999: An Overview of Anti-Trust Considerations in the Regulation of Mergers in Nigeria,  6 JIFM 272;  9 ICCLR 230; (2001) 22 BLR 116, and Rethinking Deductibility of Interest on Affiliate Loans by Upstream Companies Under Nigeria’s Petroleum Profits Tax Act (PPTA) (co-written with Atinuke Agboluaje) 1 TLJN (2012), pp. 15 -32.
An accomplished presenter, Afolabi regularly speaks or acts resource person at professional, academic and mentoring fora. He has authored or co-authored several publications on diverse areas of commercial law (secured credit, securities regulation, sectoral reforms, fiscal issues, commercial/tax litigation, etc) in prestigious journals, including Nigerian chapters to leading international treatises. He has also published several book reviews of leading legal texts in international journals. A columnist since 2009, he writes the widely read Taxspectives column for ThisDay Lawyer, legal section of This Day Newspaper. Many of Afolabi’s Taxspectives articles are on the Thought Leadership page at www.lelawlegal.com.
Afolabi has many professional affiliations, including fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (FCTI). He was one time Vice-Dean (now a member) of the Indirect Tax Faculty of the CITN, where he supports the Faculty’s discourse on topical tax issues. He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and International Bar Association (IBA), Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN), International Fiscal Association (IFA) and Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (ACIArb).
Afolabi has been advising Boards, and provided company secretarial services to reputable multinationals and leading corporates all through his legal career. He is currently a Director of Fin Insurance Company Limited and Union Insurance Brokers Limited. He is also a Partner at MentorHouse Publishing, and consults for several Nigerian law firms on their business strategy as well as on complex fiscal issues, under LeLaw’s Legal Strategy Support Services. One of Afolabi’s recent presentations was on Disclosure Requirements under the Corporate Governance Codes at a Board retreat for a downstream company. He recently led a legal regulatory compliance matrix design engagement for a leading FSI player.
Afolabi was a onetime competitive swimmer (age grade and University), and loves to read strategy books/biographies of historical figures, listens to Christian music, watches soccer and loves counseling and travelling.
Serving as a deacon in the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria’s Shomolu District Headquarters Church, he recently wrote the free manual, Yes You Can: Ten Steps To Scaling JAMB (UTME) At First Attempt as a study guide for Youths and Teens. Soft copies of the publication can be accessed here.